Sep 072010

Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt

September 7 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“The day-night doubleheader the Phillies played Monday at Citizens Bank Park was like night and day for the team’s wildly inconsistent offense, and the result was a split decision with the Florida Marlins.

After managing just one hit in six innings against 28-year-old rookie Adalberto Mendez during an opening 7-1 loss to the Marlins, the Phillies batted around and scored five times in the second inning of Game 2 against Anibal Sanchez on their way to a 7-4 victory.

The doubleheader split left the Phillies a half-game behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, who dropped a 3-1 decision across the state in Pittsburgh.

The second-game offensive surge started with a leadoff single by Jimmy Rollins, who had been dropped from first to fifth in the batting order by manager Charlie Manuel because he was not producing as the leadoff man.

Manuel addressed Rollins’ offensive slide after the first game. At the time, the shortstop was in a 4-for-34 tailspin.

“I just put him there,” the manager said. “Obviously, he can knock in some runs, so I put him there.”

“I see his swing comes and goes,” Manuel said. “He has a good night, and then he has two or three nights where he doesn’t hit the ball real good. He has been inconsistent. That’s kind of what I see.”

It’s too soon to declare that Rollins has escaped his offensive malaise, because he went hitless in his next three at-bats, but at least he started something big in the second. Raul Ibanez followed Rollins’ single with one of his own, and Sanchez self-destructed with consecutive walks to Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz, forcing home the Phillies‘ first run.

By the end of the second, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley had sandwiched RBI singles around a two-run double from Placido Polanco, and an offense that could not score through eight innings of Game 1 suddenly had given starter Roy Oswalt five early runs.

“It was just one of those nights, I guess,” for Sanchez, Victorino said. “We were able to capitalize in that one inning and make it a big inning. We were able to focus in . . . and Polly came up with the big two-out knock. We just need to find a way to keep it going.”

Oswalt, it turned out, needed the support because he had his least effective start since losing his Phillies debut July 30 against Washington. He allowed four runs on six hits in seven innings. Mike Stanton and Cameron Maybin hit solo home runs off Oswalt, and Hanley Ramirez followed a two-out walk in the third with a two-run homer that just cleared the fence in left field.”

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